Okay, i have been getting mountains of emails from people coming to the Santa Cruz, Bolivia mission to serve or those who are just.. serving!! I'm so happy for you! And I kind of laugh way hard at you guys all week because I still have no idea what I'm doing, yet I still get questions every stinkin´week. You poor things.
This is the advice I have for ya, I hope it helps! Its kind of
specific to this mission.. But hopefully you can all pull something out of it.
WHERE I SHOPPED:
-modcloth.com (sizes run small.. learned that the hard way)
-DOWNEAST (sad but true.. all my favorite skirts are from there)
-MR. Mac (I have a teal flower dress from there and long gray skirt..
I LOVE THEM)
-The Loft.. especially when sales are in town. Holla
-Kims Fashion (if you live in Layton, Utah!)
-Anthropologie .. i actually didn't shop there. But if I would have had
$8439298 dollars to spare,
i would have.
-Regular shoes.. like Toms or something
-Flip Flops (black.. so you cant see how pretty they REALLY are)
-one pair of gray, black and brown walking shoes. I brought 2 black, 2
brown and 1 gray and i wish I didnt have so freakin many!
-RAINBOOTS OH MY HEAVENS please don't forget them
-Slippers! I wish I still had my slippers.. but i gave them away in
the MTC. Don't use them until you get to Bolivia so you have some new
-I wish I had a pair of Crocs. Look. I know they are ugly. But I want some.
I got my shoes (my favorite ones) at Bass&Co. I love them lots!
-Bring Sweatpants that bunch at the bottom so you can just pull them
up around your calf. I love mine.
-A RAIN JACKET. I got mine from Eddie Bower and I love it! just a
light one, its still hot when it rains.
-Lots of Socks and I would bring at least 14 pairs of Garments. I only
brought Carinessa.. and I wish I would have brought more cotton material ones!!
-Basket ball shorts or light material capris for exercise and Pday activities!!
THINGS TO KNOW/BRING.. sorry I'm not more organized haha
-Skirts or dresses with POCKETS. I love pockets.. its just nice to
stick your planner and pen in there and not having to dig around in
your bag every 10 seconds
-A BACKPACK. Look. I know they say not to bring one. But everyone here
has one. It is the best decision I ever made. Just big enough for
scriptures, pamphlets, and a notebook.
-Stuffed Animal. I'm weird, I know. But I love mine from home. He´s just my friend.
-A Pencil Box with sticky tabs, tape, sticky notes, mini stapler, glue
stick, minnie colored pencils, paper clips, mini scissors, rubber
bands...etc. I got it as a gift for my mission and its my favorite
-Band-aids. Just.. a first aid kit. A good nice one. You'll want it, promise.
-Flashlight! For things like writing letters or in your journal at night, or doing laundry at night.. outside.. in the rain.
-Rubber Gloves! For doing your laundry.. By hand :) Welcome to the land of Bolivia.
-Shade Shirts! Modest is hottest. #Downeast...
-Waterproof watch that matches.. everything.
-PICTURES OF THE FAM DAMILY. Seriously, everyone wants to see those things.
-Bug spray. With Deet. They are everywhere.
-.. There are NO TAMPONS. Well. I heard there are in the city. But I'm in Tarija.. far away from the City. And I have seen none. Don't bring pads, they have those. But bring Tampons.
- A Book for people to write in. A ´´Libro de Recuerdos´´. (Book of Remembrance) You'll want a nice one from the USA. There arent any nice books here. I got mine at Staples.
-A bag for the shower. I just brought a Nike draw string bag, Its great. And LOOFAS. I wish so bad I had a loofa. Bring a few. You don't need a ton of shampoo and conditioner. They have decent brands and such here.
-Stickers. If you want to be the most loved human being ever. I can't get the Primary kids away from me.
-Lined paper.. THERE IS NONE HERE. Just bring a couple of those 20 cent notebooks.
-Don't freak out over a filtered water bottle. They don't want us to use them anyway. They give you clean water for your apartment. I wish I hadn't spent so much money on a water bottle with a filter. Just bring a water bottle you can fill up and carry around.
-MUSIC. Cd´s, CD player, ihome. I wish I had brought an ipod that has a screen so i can actually CHOOSE what I listen to.. but its fine. Bring talks. Those are my favorite, my companion has a ton that we
fall asleep listening to every night.
-A wallet with zippers! Because i HATE change. and That's basically all Bolivianos is. So make sure you have something to put your Bolivianos in.
-Candy you LIKE. And don't get crazy and eat it all in the MTC. Save it for here. I wish I had sour patch watermelons and M&M´s more than anything right now. If your coming here.. bring me a pack.
- Also bring.. i hate to say this.. GUM. For the plane ride. While you study. Just.. trust me.
-I brought sharpies in every color of the rainbow and I love myself for it.
- Recipes of things.. easy things. Like pancakes, No Bake Cookies... things you don't need an oven for.
-Get an Address book and start filling it out!! If i didn't have mine, I wouldnt know AnyBodys address unless they wrote me. I love it. Get home addresses and emails. Also, get a calendar and write peoples birthdays on it!!
-You'll never need to straighten your hair. Don't bring a straightener.
Youll never use it. Never. Ever. At least.. I never have. ;)
-Tide to Go. I use it like.. EVERY DAY.
JUST SOME ADVICE
-Take pictures AND videos. You will want to remember Everything.
-Write down things in a little notebook all week that you want to
write home. If I didn't.. There is no way I would remember anything all
-Try new things. Even if it looks freakin' nasty. Just taste it.
-ASK QUESTIONS. Be confident that you DON'T know the language. Once I started doing that.. I learned a lot more. When I pretended like I knew what everyone was talking about was when I was the most stressed out. If you dont know what people are saying.. just say..
´´HEY I DONT KNOW WHAT ANYONE IS TALKING ABOUT´´. That's what I do haha!
-Have big hair. Everyone wants to talk to you and be your friend.
- ITS SNACKING that makes you gain weight. I promise you with all my heart. Its not what other people feed you, its what you feed yourself. hats why I'm 7,348,927 pounds now. We don't talk about that.
- EXERCISE. Yeah, i know it sucks. But I'm the missionary that runs stairs every morning.. while my companion sits outside and watches. There's always that one in the companionship.. be the runner!!
- PACKAGES. Tell your mommy to tape that crap up and put pictures of Mary on there. If she has to write what's in it, don't write Clothes, Candy.. anything that sounds appealing. People will take it out.
Just.. be smart!
-- LOOK. Just know that its going to be hard. Being away from family, learning a new language, having a companion.. its just hard. Nothing I ever say will prepare you for what you have just signed up for. You think you just signed up to walk around, knock on doors, and talk about Christ.. you didnt.
You just signed up to REPRESENT CHRIST. And representing Christ means that we will have to experience at least one of the many tears he experienced for us. This isn't a study abroad, this isnt your senior trip. This is something huge. You are going to love deeper, pray harder, forgive easier, you are going to see things, hear things and
feel things that you didnt know existed before your mission. Buckle up and prepare to have your testimony completely blown out of the water. I have never known more in my life that this Church is true. I love these people more than I ever imagined I would or could.
Its scary. But you didnt decide to go on a mission to sit and watch.
OPEN YOUR MOUTH. Talk to people! Laugh, cry, testify, smile at people, tell them good morning, ask them if they need help with groceries, give a boliviano to the begger sitting on the corner. You are a representative of Jesus the Christ. Do what you can to live up to that title.
Good luck with everything, Please never hesitate to email me with questions.
The Church is True
Monday, December 30, 2013
Okay, another week without an email from Nicole. She was able to get a small "family email" out and some pics so I wanted to share some of it. Hopefully the internet connection is better next week!
HI YOU BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
I needed that sooo bad on Wednesday. just seeing you and talking to you was awesome!!
Let Grandma and Grandpa know I tried to call them if they didn't know!
They didn't answer.. but tell them Thank you for EVERYTHING. I drink the hot chocolate they sent me everyday. The Hot chocolate powder here is not the same, and theirs was sooo good.
Let me know what you are doing for New Years!! send me pictures!!
Cambios (transfers) are tomorrow and I hope with all my heart Hna Blanco and I stay here together one more transfer. I'm so scared haha!
Thanks for my package for Christmas!! The shoe shine.. i needed that so bad haha i love my skirts, I love my nice toothbrush. Thank you thank you. And tell Brock and Andie thank you for their letters, they made me laugh!! And to Stacie! A GIGANTIC SHOUT OUT! THANKS FOR THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT!
A few pics...
A Parrot I am now friends with and she says my name!
The road home... Every day... Mom send boots!
My Family and I talking on Christmas Day!
Tan Lines... No Bueno...
A Glimpse of the area where I live...
Me and Sister Blanco!
Preparing for the Church Christmas Party.
Monday, December 23, 2013
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!
So I started counting how many dogs I saw last Tuesday at about 5:30 p.m. And I stopped this morning.
And I counted 627.
The sad part about all of this is... that that is a very inaccurate number because I went hours throughout the week without counting because I either forgot.. or I didn't feel like it. Yay, Tarija Bolivia.
Shout outs!! Happy Birthday to Joseph Smith. Imma go celebrate with some Ice Cream later..
Also! to Sister Ibarra and Sister Biehl, Gino, The Jensen Family, and Shirlee Dickson´s email.. I got the best letters on the planet earth from you people. I needed that. Love you all.
Tuesday I did Intercambios (exchanges) with Sister Ariza. The cutest little missionary from Colombia. I was SO scared. I don't speak Spanish. I don't know my area. I don't know how to be a missionary and I was on the verge of.. going home.
But it was actually.. the best. I found out I know more Spanish than I thought I did. She has been in the field 9 months.. and I learned A TON from her during lessons. She really set a bar for me and I want SO badly to be a good teacher. She helped me set a goal for myself. It was great.
I also learned why Heavenly Father blessed (cursed..) me with such gigantic hair. Because, he knew I was going to be a missionary in Santa Cruz Bolivia one day and that everyone in the country would want to talk to me just by looking at me. And He also knew that I wouldn't be able to speak Spanish. SO. It makes people COME TO ME. Instead of the other way around. He´s a.. smart one. .. understatement of the year.
Hermana Blanco and I have had some.. SERIOUS SUCCESS. This week. What did I tell you all in my last email?? The Rain of Blessings is comin´ down. Also the water.. we don't talk about that.
We have a GOOOOLLLDEEEN investigator with a baptism date of January 11. We knocked doors and found a family (with married parents. I could hear the Hallelujah chorus), a drunk man that invited us back..
hopefully he remembers, and a single mom. And I´ve never met such prepared people. The love I feel for these people.. like. I don't know.
It almost stresses me OUT. I think about them more than I.. breathe!
So I'm having this problem.. called Dulce De Leche. I eat whole containers in 2 days. Hermana Blanco keeps telling me to use an knife and not ´´DIP´´.. I've yet to take that advice. Everyone.. please still be my friend if I'm about 8,697 pounds heavier when I return, thank you.
SO CHRISTMAS DOWN HERE IS NUTS.
The Bishopric planned a party.. and it was Hoppin´. But it didn't start till 9:00 at NIGHT. So Hermana Blanco and I were.. missionaries. And were at home. But it was at the Chapel.. and I heard it went till about 2:00 in the morning. Hey. Latinos don't mess around.
On Sunday, The ward nicknamed me ´´Mama Noel´´ because my mom had sent me Candy Canes to give to the Primary.. AND THAT'S WHAT I DID. Except for none of the kids have every tried Candy Canes, so they were all running around after their first lick yelling:
´´PICANTE PICANTE PICANTE´´
Yeah. Its peppermint haha!
Merry Christmas MERRY CHRISTMAS. I love you all :) Thanks for your support and for being amazing.
Also, if you found my blog and you email me and I don't email you back.. ITS NOT BECAUSE I'M IGNORING YOU. Its because I have a little amount of time.. and Ill get back to you ASAP. I'm so happy you all think I'm a pro missionary hhahahahha
The advice I give all you new missionaries.. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED. Asi es.
With all my love,
(No pics this week, Sister Cedeno couldn't get them to go through.... internet.... UGH!)
Monday, December 16, 2013
Oh the weather outside is frightful... and my bed is a lot more comfortable than usual... but we´ve got places to go...
SO PLEASE STOP RAINING FOR LIKE 5 MINUTES SERIOUSLY WE´LL DROWN.
Shoutouts tooo... Tiffy Delacruz, Lexie Arancibia and Josh Jensen. Happy Birthday!!
I will mark a new Holiday the day the ATLANTIC OCEAN stops falling from the sky. It is absolutely ridiculous how much its been raining!
This week was HARD. It was a rough week for me. I felt like when we started the day with just 1 disappointment, the rest of the day completely collapsed. And that happened.. every day. But, like i said.. WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS.
On Tuesday I started feeling SO sick after lunch. It got to the point where we had to call and head to the clinic. While I was there, Hermana Blanco made them check out my blistered feet too.
Lets just say, I left with about 4 prescriptions. Also, Sheldon (my toilet) and I have become very close this week. We're like.. friends now.
We are always trying to find THE SAME PEOPLE. Why isn't anyone ever home?? Like.. where are they? We've been trying to find a woman named Paula. But every time we go to her house, an old woman talks to us through the closed door and its this conversation-
Us: ´´Se encuentra Paula?´´
Woman: ´´Ella no esta!´´
Us: ´´Okay, muchisimos gracias´´
Woman: ´´ELLA NO ESTA!´´
Us: ´´Okay.. gracias.´´
Woman: ´´NO ESTA!!´´
OKAY WE GET IT SHE´S NOT HOME.
I know you can't see this, but it is raining so hard...
Oh by the way... I taught a horse the Restoration... Spread the Gospel :-)
Friday we had our Christmas Conference that my zone and I have been practicing for ALL WEEK. My zone makes fun of me SOOO hard core because I hate singing. Its.. hard. Not my thing. But it was so awesome to see the other missionaries at the Christmas Conference and to have some time with the Mission President and his Wife. Also... the food rocked.
We had a district meeting on Thursday.. and I had a hard time. I kept misunderstanding questions, I kept being misunderstood. I couldn't get my points across with any conversation. Learning a new language.. is the hardest thing ever. And its especially hard when I can't say what I want to say, I can't tell personal experiences, I can't be myself. I get frustrated with myself!
ME, HERMANA BLANCO Y ANDREA
Andrea always comes with us to teach, she is leaving for a mission to Honduras in January.
Me and Hermana Blanco. We were frustrated that day...
Last night.. was a night. It was pouring rain while we were walking home. And I was crying so hard. Hermana Blanco just let me get it out - SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED TO CRY. And I actually feel a lot better. I just need to remember that the Spanish.. isn't going to come in 3 weeks. Its just NOT.
I wish you could see how freakin' hard it is raining in these pictures!
Being patient with everything that's happening here seems so impossible sometimes. Some days, yesterday being one of them, I just want to GO HOME. I just want to sit in my living room and eat popcorn with my family. ON CARPET. ON A FLOOR WITH CARPET.
But then.. if I really had the chance to go home.. THERE'S NO WAY. These people are way too important to me. This work is way too important to me. This is the time to give back just a little of everything I owe to my Heavenly Father.
This week.. Yeah. It was hard. When one trial rolls around, sometimes it feels like it will NEVER END. But the truth is..
God never gives us trials we cant get through. And God NEVER sends a trial without promising us A SHOWER OF BLESSINGS in return.
And you know what they say... When it Rains, It Pours :)
(expecting that thunder storm of blessings next week.)
I loooooove drinking the juice out of these bags! My favorite!
This is the view from our house. The mountains behind me are Mountains in ARGENTINA. we are RIGHT ON THE BORDER.